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Cover image for The screaming staircase
Format:
Title:
The screaming staircase
ISBN:
9781423164913

9781423186922
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : Disney-Hyperion Books, [2013]
Physical Description:
390 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
Summary:
Follows three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader MG 5.1 14.

Reading Counts 6-8 4.4 22.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
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TEEN FICTION Stroud, J.
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TEEN FICTION Stroud, J.
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YA FICTION - STROUD
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TEEN STROUD, J. LOCKWOOD & CO. BOOK 1
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SF STR
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Stroud
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J FIC STROUD 2013
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YA FICTION STROUD
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TEEN FICTION Stroud, J.
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YA Stroud Lockwood & Co. v.1
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YA STROUD
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T STROUD
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TEEN FICTION Stroud, J.
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Stroud
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On Order

Summary

Summary

A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase , the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?

Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud's internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.


Author Notes

Jonathan Stroud, best selling fantasy fiction author, was born in Bedford, England on October 27, 1970. While growing up he experimented with different kinds of writing. He went on to read English Literature at York University. After graduation he worked in editing at Walker Books, in London and continued there for several years. His first novel, When Buried Fire, was published in 1999. In 2001 he began writing full-time. He is the author of the wildly popular Bartimaeus Sequence and Lockwood and Co, series.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-10-In a turn-of-the-century steampunk-flavored London, teenager Lucy Carlyle is one of a special few who have the psychic abilities to see-and the nerve to eliminate-the British community's Problem, a dangerous ghost epidemic. Children are the first line of defense against the influx of these Visitors whose Ghost Touch can kill, since they are invisible and almost undetectable to adults. When Lucy joins charismatic Anthony Lockwood and his obnoxious partner, George, they are assigned a case which, if solved, may allow them to prove themselves in a business regulated by adults. But first they must survive the night in one of the most haunted houses in all of England. Stroud does not disappoint with this thrilling adventure (Disney-Hyperion, 2013) which, while predictable in places, is well paced and filled with such humor balanced with chilling details that it somehow manages to simultaneously reassure and terrify the reader. In her first audiobook recording, Miranda Raison's characterizations and lovely British accent add even more dimension to the story, creating an audiobook that is preferable to the traditional print version. Recommended for those who loved Stroud's "Bartimaeus" series, who are looking for a somewhat tamer version of the "Monstrumologist" series, or anyone who just loves a good ghost story.-Chani Craig. Turners Falls High School and Great Falls Middle School, Montague, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Stroud's first entry in his new Lockwood & Co. series begins with all manner of spirits and ghosts haunting London. To address what becomes known as "the Problem," young Lucy Carlyle, Anthony Lockwood, and George Cubbins must rid England of its otherworldly visitors using their ability to perceive spirits. Stroud's novel comes to life thanks to the narration of Raison. Her performance is reserved, but this proves a wise choice for such an outrageous story, with the narrator employing slight shifts in tone and style to create realistic and believable character voices. This straightforward approach makes the audio edition all the more immediate and thrilling. Ages 8-12. A Disney-Hyperion hardcover. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

In a parallel London infested by the spirits of the dead, ghost-busting firms employ psychically sensitive children as field agents to neutralize these often-dangerous pests. Teen protagonist Lucy Carlyle joins indie agency Lockwood Co. ("Lockwood" being amiable teenage owner Anthony Lockwood, and "Co." consisting of Lucy and one other operative, sardonic George) just before impending bankruptcy forces Lockwood to accept a lucrative-but-shady client with a very haunted property. Narrator Raison imbues Lucy's voice with just the right balance of droll British humor, slightly guilty secret-keeping, and compassion for uneasy spirits as the agency tackles this make-or-break -- and perilous -- case. Raison's pacing ratchets up the tension of ghost confrontations while also allowing the teens' snarky banter room to breathe, fully embodying this thrilling and funny series opener. katie bircher (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Three young ghost trappers take on deadly wraiths and solve an old murder case in the bargain to kick off Stroud's new post-Bartimaeus series. Narrator Lucy Carlyle hopes to put her unusual sensitivity to supernatural sounds to good use by joining Lockwood Co.--one of several firms that have risen to cope with the serious ghost Problem that has afflicted England in recent years. As its third member, she teams with glib, ambitious Anthony Lockwood and slovenly-but-capable scholar George Cubbins to entrap malign spirits for hire. The work is fraught with peril, not only because a ghost's merest touch is generally fatal, but also, as it turns out, as none of the three is particularly good at careful planning and preparation. All are, however, resourceful and quick on their feet, which stands them in good stead when they inadvertently set fire to a house while discovering a murder victim's desiccated corpse. It comes in handy again when they later rashly agree to clear Combe Carey Hall, renowned for centuries of sudden deaths and regarded as one of England's most haunted manors. Despite being well-stocked with scream-worthy ghastlies, this lively opener makes a light alternative for readers who find the likes of Joseph Delaney's Last Apprentice series too grim and creepy for comfort. A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls. (Ghost adventure. 11-13)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Fifty years after the Problem began in London, it has slowly spread through the country. The public dreads Visitors, malevolent ghosts that can be directly sensed only by children. Young Lucy Carlyle joins Anthony Lockwood and George Cubbins to become Lockwood & Co., three kids using rapiers, iron chains, and magnesium fire to handle Visitors. After they bungle a job by inadvertently burning down a house, their company faces imminent ruin. Their last hope of saving it involves accepting a dicey assignment in one of England's most haunted houses. Despite the necessary time spent framing the series, Stroud ratchets up the tension considerably when the trio goes to work. Still, the most satisfying parts of the book concern the three intriguing main characters and the dynamics of their not-quite-comfortable relationship. Best known for the Bartimaeus books, beginning with The Amulet of Samarkand (2003), Stroud writes for a younger audience in book one of the Lockwood & Co. series and delivers some chilling scenes along the way. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY - Stroud made many fans with the Bartimaeus books, and his even though this is for a younger audience, his name carries weight with librarians, teachers, and parents.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

where would teenage mysteries be without idiotic antics like going down to the docks alone late at night or opening haunted lockets? And where would Victorian London be without Undead motifs like fog and Scotland Yard? In two new middle-grade novels, Colleen Gleason and Jonathan Stroud have vamped up the familiar world of Holmes and Watson - and Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew - to paranormally exhilarating effect. Gleason sets "The Clockwork Scarab" in a London that is recognizably Victorian but filled with steampunk technology, sure to please what she delightfully calls the "cognoggins" among us. Irene Adler (yes, that Irene Adler, the woman who outwitted Sherlock Holmes) has left her husband and the opera stage for a new career as a cataloger of antiquities at the British Museum. Acting on orders from the Princess of Wales, she commissions Mina Holmes, daughter of Mycroft and niece of Sherlock, and Evaline Stoker, the much younger sister of Bram and the descendant of a talented Regency vampire huntress (familiar to readers of Gleason's Gardella series), to investigate the disappearance and deaths of several young society girls. Clues take Mina and Evaline from ballroom to opium den. At 17, these proto-feminist sleuths are both typical teenagers, trying to sort out their skills and desires. In their dealings with the young men they encounter - an observant Scotland Yard inspector, a mysterious con artist and an accidental tourist from the 21st century - they outwardly spar, inwardly swoon. The girls are also a bit suspicious (and envious) of each other, but it's clear from their alternating first-person narratives that their friendship is growing. While Mina dominates the conversation here, I suspect the as yet untested vampire-fighter Evaline will get her night to shine in future volumes. In "The Screaming Staircase," Jonathan Stroud also gives us an alternative London, a London of rapiers, Velero and the Problem Ghosts - euphemistically called Visitors - infest the country. Everyone suffers the Visitors' soul-sapping effects, but only the young, with their "extreme psychic sensitivity," can find and destroy them. Anthony Lockwood, "a boy who was clearly never happier than when walking into a haunted room, his hand resting lightly on his sword hilt," has set up his own agency, Lockwood & Co., with two other teenage ghostbusters. Lockwood's reckless flair is counterbalanced by George Cubbins, a pudgy and prickly research whiz, as "handsome as a freshly opened tub of margarine, as charismatic as a wet tea towel lying scrumpled on the floor." No prizes for guessing which boy our narrator, Lucy Carlyle, prefers. The three have worked on a number of cases before, but Lucy doesn't want to talk about them, "in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up." Now an apparently simple case has turned very weird indeed - a murdered girl, Annabel Ward, is furious about something - and Lockwood & Co. have to exercise all their combined talents to set things right. With the same sophisticated imagination that made his Bartimaeus series such a success, Stroud's writing is assured and nimble. He's terrific at mixing the macabre with high-school-level repartee: "Well, that was useful." "Really?" "No. I'm being ironic. Or is it sarcastic? I can never remember." "Irony's cleverer, so you're probably being sarcastic." A large part of the fun for any former teenager reading these books is recognizing background Victoriana. Is Gleason's seamstress Madame Varney any relation to Varney the Vampire? Do the Brontës haunt Stroud's novel, with the Red Room and the name Fairfax wafting in from "Jane Eyre" and Lockwood's name a revenant from "Wuthering Heights"? If such games appeal to you, stay alert. Both series, particularly Stroud's, promise to be lightheartedly thrilling, with sweet underlying age-appropriate stories about finding yourself and some good friends at the same time. ALEXANDRA MULLEN reviews books for The Wall Street Journal and The Barnes & Noble Review.